Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Video Screen Recording and Market Presentation the Easy Way

Video Screen Recording of Presentation without Complex Editing

Video is proving to be a remarkable marketing tool on the net, which allows the webmaster to present his or her products and services to potential clients in an audio-visual mode.

In fact video on a website is the best way to enhance ones credibility. It instantly creates a rapport with the viewer and the person is better able to judge for oneself to the extent they could put their trust and money on the person and the website in whatever they have to offer.

Its trust and not fancy tempting products which is important to win the hearts and mind of the customers. No relationship can exist for lack of trust.

No wonder Video presentation is playing a big role in Internet Marketing.

Screen Video or Screencast

For video recording of presentation no fancy lights or video equipment is required. All you need is a simple Video screencast.

Here is how its all done.

Step 1: Video Recording

Allow five to seven seconds for each slide or animation to wait before moving to the following one. This is important since the brain cannot absorb quickly what appears on the screen as well as follow the audio running in the background at the same time. Hence the five to seven seconds of wait before proceeding to the next slide.

Also avoid piling up messages which would make it too jumbled up for the person to coordinate his eyes to read through the messages as well as listen to the audio commentary describing what the message is all about.

It is best to have one message at a time for each slide. This makes it easier for the brain to breathe easy as the person watching the video can assimilate the picture along with the single message as well as listen to the short commentary at a leisure pace.

Step 2: Audio Recording

After the video recording is all over you can start the audio recording.

Audio recording can be done with the help of a USB microphone.

By separately recording the audio, you can concentrate one at a time not both video and audio at the same time during recording.

Also there is no need to stop the video to rectify any mistake made while recording the audio, when you record the audio separately and not when you do the same along with video recording.

So start by playing the video. As each slide appears on screen, you make a comment on the picture and message being shown immediately. This is very similar to commenting on photos of your recent vacation which you show to your near and dear ones as and when it appears on screen.

So by making your comments in a relaxed and nice voice, you are better able to explain to your viewers what you have to show and drive the message to them. This helps to avoid speaking hurriedly when showing the video.

By maintaining a gap, of five to seven seconds before shifting to the next slide in the video, you have enough time to speak your thoughts aloud so that the viewer is better able to understand what he or she watches.

In case you need to speak more, then the gap between the slides could be increased to ten seconds at most.

Step 3: Synchronizing the video and audio using software

Software such as Camtasia helps to record the video and audio in separate layers, and accordingly set them to synchronize well with one another. You can move forward and backwards as per your will.

Since the video and audio are in two separate layers so in case any mistake crops up during video recording, you avoid re-shooting the screen video all over again. The same is true for audio too.

So go ahead and start shooting your screen video for your marketing presentation for your Internet surfers and viewers to win over their hearts and mind by your superb communication using screen video as your medium.

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Twitter India - India Climbs to Third Position as The Most Twittering Nation after Germany and USA

- By Somik Ranjan Roy

Indians traditionally are exceedingly noisy and communicative which at times turns to a roar and that's exactly happened in the virtual world too.

Having been placed in the ninth position way back in July by Sysomos in terms of volume shared by Indians for keying their thoughts to share with others on the Twitter.

In just two months India has climbed the third position as more Indians are joining the chorus to twitter more and more.

As per the internet users and traffic report by Alexa , India is now the third major contributor to the fastest growing Micro blogging site amongst Twitter Users according to Alexa.

8% of the total Twitter Users are from India, this despite only 7% of the population having access to the internet.



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Monday, September 28, 2009

Copenhagen Summit 2009 - 200 Pages Draft Prepared to Save The Earth by 190 Countries at Bangkok

by Somik Ranjan Roy

The world has increasingly become more concerned about the future of Earth's environment upon which depends the very survivability of humans and other living organisms that thrive on this planet, the only one so far amongst heavenly bodies, known to be inhabited because of the presence of the right environment on earth which is congenial to sustain living beings including humans.

As a good part of the globe is turning to automation and forests are being replaced by towns and cities, our dependability on fossil fuels has taken a quantum leap, which in turn has in the same proportion increased the carbon content in the air.

Since the denudation of forests on a large scale has resulted in non utilization of carbon-di-oxide an essential raw material for photosynthesis, the excess carbon-di-oxide remains in the air which in turn is causing the glass house effect i.e. sun radiation reflected back into the atmosphere by earth cannot escape the earths atmosphere, as a result of which the temperature continues to rise.

Scientists are of the opinion that even after taking all preventive measures the global temperature would soar to 3 degree Celsius.

If steps are not taken immediately for corrective measures, the temperature would rise beyond the prescribed threshold and cause terrible chaos and pathos on earth.

It is with the intention of a coordinated efforts between the members of the united nations, the Copenhagen Meet is being organised so that there is a meaningful efforts to contain the thermal content that envelops the earth.

The effect of Global warming is for all of us to see and experience, as polar caps begins to melt and ocean level is spilling over the coastal regions threatening to flood that is threatening not only human habitats as well as the large stretches of agricultural land, needed to feed the millions.

Here is a report on the 200 pages of draft that's being prepared and would be discussed in details for the first time by 190 countries who are assembling at Bangkok this week ahead of the Copenhagen Summit in December, to find ways and means as well as define roles for each category of nations, to reduce to confusion that's prevailing as well as the dispute between the developed and the developing countries such as China and India, two emerging Asian economic giants.

200 Pages to Save the World?
by David Adam

Draft agreement being discussed ahead of December's crucial Copenhagen summit is long, confusing and contradictory

It is a blueprint to save the world. And yet it is long, confusing and contradictory. Negotiators have released a draft version of a new global agreement on climate change, which is widely billed as the last chance to save the planet from the ravages of global warming.

Running to some 200 pages, the draft agreement is being discussed for the first time this week as officials from 190 countries gather in Bangkok for the latest round of UN talks. There is only one short meeting after this before they meet in Copenhagen aiming to hammer out a final version.

The draft text consolidates and reorders hundreds of changes demanded by countries to the previous version, which saw it balloon to an unmanageable 300 pages. It has no official status yet, and must be formally approved before negotiators can start to whittle it down. Here, we present key, edited sections from the text and attempt to decipher what the words mean.

The text includes sections on the traditional sticking points that have delayed progress on climate change for a decade or longer.

• Will large developing nations such as China make an effort to put at least a dent in their soaring levels of pollution?

• How much money must flow from the developed world to developing countries to grease the wheels and secure their approval? How much to compensate for the impact of past emissions, and how much to help prevent future emissions?

According to the UN rules, for a new treaty to be agreed, every country must sign up – a challenging requirement. The new treaty is designed to follow the Kyoto protocol, the world's existing treaty to regulate greenhouse gases, the first phase of which expires in 2012.

Because the US did not ratify Kyoto, the climate talks have been forced on to awkward parallel tracks, with one set of negotiations, from which the US is excluded, debating how the treaty could be extended past 2012. This new text comes from the second track, which lays out a plan to include all countries in long-term co-operative action.

Behind the scenes, pessimism about the Copenhagen talks is rising. Despite references in the text to a global goal and collective emission cuts of 25-40% by 2020 for rich countries, many observers believe there is little chance such an approach will succeed.

Stuart Eizenstat, who negotiated Kyoto for the US, said: "Copenhagen is more likely to be a way station to a final agreement, where each country posts the best that it can do... The key thing is let's not go into Copenhagen with all the same kind of guns blazing like we did in Kyoto."

A top European official told the Guardian: "We've moved on from the idea that we can negotiate on targets. That's naive and just not the way the deal will be done. The best we can get is that countries will put in what they want to commit to."

Once all the carbon offsets – buying pollution credits instead of cutting emissions – and "fudges" are taken into account, the outcome is likely to be that emissions in 2020 from rich countries will be broadly similar to those in 1990, he said. "That's really scary stuff."

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2009 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Environment Protection - The Nine Eco Commandments To Save the Earth

Earth's Fragile Fecundity - The Nine Environmental Rules That We Must Never Violate To Save The Earth from getting Barren and Lifeless

by Somik Ranjan Roy

If we humans want that our future generation enjoy the bounties on earth and turn it into heaven instead of hell, then we must follow certain principles in life that would not in any way destroy the fragile ecosystem that sustains life on land, water and air on Earth.

We humans must never forget that this Earth that we have made our home, is just a speck in the vast cold universe. It is the only one till date which is known to be teeming with life, while none of the planets within the solar system, let alone those in far flung universe of other stars that we see each night, has provided any concrete evidence of an congenial environment that can sustain life as on Earth.

Yet we mortals to whom Nature has provided the brains to build industries and very tall skyscrapers that has in hundred years have replaced vast stretches of natural green forests with those of concrete ones all across the earth. Instead of horses and elephants we have cars and trucks that run on precious fossil fuels (such as oil and coal).

In our pursuit to seek comfort and luxury, we humans have forgotten that to imbalance the fragile environment by our careless attitude and scarce regards to protecting the ecosystem we are inching closer to make Earth a barren and cold planet that would no longer be able to sustain life of any form, as it did for millions of years.

We humans are the guardian of this little place within the universe and its our duty to see that the Earth does not bald all of a sudden, that it turns barren like the Moon without life.

It is for this very reason to stop the mistakes that we have already committed motivated by greed, 28 leading scientists, experts on environment gathered to draw out Nine Important Ecology Rules that we must never knowingly or unknowingly violate, if all of us are eager to save the Earth.

Here is a list of the Nine Eco Rules that we must not upset if are to avoid the changing the global environment drastically and put life at stake on earth.

According to these scientists they have found nine such processes for which they believe it is necessary to define planetary boundaries, these are namely:

1. climate change
2. rate of biodiversity loss (terrestrial and marine)
3. interference with the nitrogen and phosphorus cycles
4. stratospheric ozone depletion
5. ocean acidification
6. global freshwater use
7. change in land use
8. chemical pollution and
9. atmospheric aerosol loading

Unfortunately we have already violated three of these rules and whose effect we are reeling from, such as global warming that's causing the ice at the poles and higher regions of the Himalayas to melt, rise in sea water level that's threatening to flood the coastal regions, causing acute shortage of fresh water.

The primary cause of this is the increased concentration of carbon-di-oxide that's causing a green house effect, meaning that the sun radiation reaching the earth, which is radiated back from the earth surface remains trapped in the air, causing heat build up, much like we observe in a glasshouse receiving sunlight.

Already many species of organisms have either gone extinct or are on the verge of getting wiped out for once and for all.

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Moon Water - At Last Water Sighted on The Moon by ISRO (India) and NASA Scientists

These images show a very young lunar crater on the side of the moon that faces away from Earth, as viewed by NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper on the Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft. On the left is an image showing brightness at shorter infrared wavelengths. On the right, the distribution of water-rich minerals (light blue) is shown around a small crater. Both water- and hydroxyl-rich materials were found to be associated with material ejected from the crater.

Credits: ISRO/NASA/JPL-Caltech/USGS/Brown Univ.

Water on the Moon - Chandrayan 1 India's Moon Mission Accomplished
By Somik ranjan Roy

Water on the Moon! Holy Cow, I could not believe this when one of the spokesman from ISRO (which stands for Indian Space Research Organisation) made the claim that Chandrayan I, India's first moon mission had discovered water on the moon.

Like most Indians I was sceptical and for me it was too good to be true, yet there was an undercurrent of excitement somewhere in my heart.

However the following day NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Agency) of USA, confirmed and conveyed the good news to the world, that indeed there are water molecules present on the lunar surface.

It is indeed what Times of India mentioned that this discovery is " India's First Step to the Moon but a Giant Leap for Mankind".

However make no mistake for water on the moon is not present in liquid form as we are so familiar with on Earth, such as in the form of river, glacier, lakes, pools, ponds, sea and ocean. the water present is in combination with either glass (silicates) or minerals found on Lunar rocks.

When Chandrayan I because of a malfunction caused by overheating, that exceeded the 78 degrees centigrade limit which it could withstand, of the scorching sun rays reflected and radiated back by the Lunar surafce it lost contact with scientists at Bangalore, and inadvertently had to be abandoned prematurely by 14 months this August (2009), like others in India, I too fell crestfallen by the abrupt failure.

However yesterdays announcement was like a rainbow in the sky and certainly it is for scientists around the world who all are rejoicing at the prospect of extracting water from the moon itself, instead of spending millions to ship water to the Moon for use by humans as the cost estimated stands at $2,000 to $20,000 per kg.

The Chandrayan I is India's first lunar probe mission dedicated to map the lunar surface and determine the exact composition of the moon's mineral composition.

To make the probe successful NASA had offered its Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) built specially for this mission and which was singularly instrumental in detecting the wavelengths of the sun light that reflected back from the surface of the moon.

It was after scrutinising the wavelengths of the reflected light intently and after analysing them carefully, the Indian scientists were able to finally announce to the world that indeed water molecules are present on the moon, what was for forty long years had been a suspect and scientists have long debated over this.

From the analysis of the wavelength of the lunar light ( moon does not emit light on its own, it only reflects back the sun rays that strikes its surface, just as it does on our Earth), it is now confirmed that there is a chemical bond between Hydrogen and Oxygen which clearly dicates that its either water (i.e.H2O) or hydroxyl (i.e OH group).

"The data from Cassini's VIMS instrument and M3 closely agree," said Roger Clark, a US Geological Survey scientist in Denver and member of both the VIMS and M3 teams.

"Water ice on the moon has been something of a holy grail for lunar scientists for a very long time," said Jim Green, director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

"This surprising finding has come about through the ingenuity, perseverance and international cooperation between NASA and the India Space Research Organisation," he said. "We see both water and hydroxyl.

While the abundances are not precisely known, as much as 1,000 water molecule parts-per-million could be in the lunar soil. To put that into perspective, if you harvested one ton of the top layer of the moon's surface, you could get as much as 32 ounces of water," Clark said.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Uranium from Nuclear Waste can be Recovered using E-Coli

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I am sure after you read this report you too would no longer look down upon E-Coli that is so much responsible for causing diarrhoea and those irritating stomach upset accompanied with cramps caused from excesss dehydration.

Well nuclear scientists have found a feasible method of recovering uranium from nuclear waste with the help of E-Coli.

E. Coli Can Be Used To Clean Up Nuclear Waste

by Jerry James Stone, San Francisco, CA

The Simpsons opening creditsPicture courtesy of Hulu.com

Researchers have found that E. coli can be used to recover uranium from tainted waters and can even be used to clean up nuclear waste.

Using the bacteria along with inositol phosphate, the bacteria breaks down the phosphate--also called phytic acid--to free the phosphate molecules. The phosphate then binds to the uranium forming a uranium-phosphate precipitate on the cells of the bacteria. Those cells can then be harvested to recover the uranium.

Escherichia coli bacteria (E. coli)Photo of Escherichia coli bacteria (E. coli) from LimbicNutrition Weblog

The findings were presented at a Society for General Microbiology's meeting by Professor Lynne Macaskie from a research team at Birmingham University. Though, the process was first discovered back in 1995 but at the time was not economical.

In early research a very expensive additive was used and the low cost of uranium just didn't make it feasible. But the discovery of inositol phosphate being six-times more effective--as well as a cheap waste material--made the venture more viable.

Not too shocking. More countries are clearly looking to expand their nuclear technologies and the price of uranium is likely to increase. Another option for bringing down the cost of inostiol phosphate is that it can easily be obtained from agriculture waste.

"The UK has no natural uranium reserves, although a significant amount of uranium is produced in nuclear wastes. There is no global shortage of uranium but from the point of view of energy security the EU needs to be able to recover as much uranium as possible from mine run-offs (which in any case pollute the environment) as well as recycling as much uranium as possible from nuclear wastes," commented Professor Macaskie.

And while the cost of uranium concerns me as much as the next guy (actually, I don't really care that much) there is obviously huge environmental and health impacts to this process.

"By using a cheap feedstock easily obtained from plant wastes we have shown that an economic, scalable process for uranium recovery is possible," Macaskie ended.

Source: Science Daily

Free Games - Top Indie Games of the Year at Intel

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Play The Year's Top Indie Games for Free
by Michael Brito

Top indie games according to whom? Glad you asked. Sid Meier, Will Wright, and a panel of esteemed judges helped select the winners of this year's Intel Level Up Game Demo Challenge - showcasing the world champs of indie games. Want to take a look? All of the winning game demos are available for you to play at www.intel.com/software/levelup2009.

Indie developers from around the world submitted their best work for a chance at huge prizes and an industry breakthrough. The judges had their hands full narrowing down the group of 22 finalists to just seven winning demos. Awards were given to the top three demos in three categories, as well as an honorary award for the Judge's Choice. The winners were announced on Wednesday at the Austin GDC.

We've been hosting this contest for three years and this year's winning batch has some of the most innovative and fun games we've seen. Don't take our word for it, try them out for yourself and let us know what you think.

Best Game on Intel® Graphics

  1. First place: I Know Your Deeds by Yakov
  2. Second place: Spin Tires by Pavel Zagrebelnyy
  3. Third place: Inferus by Kevin Gadd, Ian Maclean, and Troupe Gammage IV

Best Game-on-the-Go

  1. First place: Inferus by Kevin Gadd, Ian Maclean, and Troupe Gammage IV
  2. Second place: GermiNation by Bradley Wesson
  3. Third place: Rise of Pirates by Stefans Keiss

Best Threaded Game
  1. First place: Spin Tires by Pavel Aleksandrovich Zagrebelnyy
  2. Second place: I Know Your Deeds by Yakov
  3. Third place: The Ray Trace Game by Klyuchnikov Eugene

Judge's Choice Award:

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Indian Economy Can Sustain 6 - 8% Growth Rate till 2025

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India can sustain 6-8% growth rates up to 2025

With a year of economic downturn behind us, Stuart Corbridge, professor of development studies at London [ Images ] School of Economics, expects that the world might suffer a public sector downturn next year. However, he is optimistic about Indian prospects.

In a conversation with Devika Banerji, Corbridge says that the problem with India's growth story has been its inability to reduce poverty to significant levels. Excerpts:

As economies like Germany , the US and France have come out of recession, do you see the global economy recovering?

I am a little nervous. I believe that we have been lucky, it could have tipped over to something worse. If you take the case of the US and the UK, there is a massive building up of deficits which I think was necessary. All that money has shown signs of recovery, so people are optimistic in that respect.

However, the recession in the West has largely been a private sector phenomenon, but now the pressure will be on the public sector. Government books will have to balanced next year and taxes will go up. So, I fear a public sector recession next year and if it happens too soon, it might even drag the recovering private sector along with it. So, I am apprehensive.

What should India learn from the crisis?

There are a number of answers to this. Well, the way forward for India would be not to believe in the concept of free markets. Markets always need to be underpinned by functioning institutions. They have to be regulated. There are informational symmetries, there are externalities.

The idea that we can simply open up markets is a self-defeating idea. It will engender political opposition because it will bring extreme volatility. I think the recession in the western world is a result of refusal to regulate some industries like real estate and finance.

In case of the UK, the economy has become unbalanced because we lack a manufacturing base and are heavily dependent on finance capital.

In the long run, do you think an average Indian growth rate of 7-8 per cent is sustainable?

I think sustaining the rates of 6-8 per cent growth a year up to 2020-25, except some exceptional years, will be possible. The main reason would be that India has invested so little in relative terms in human capital.

Once investment comes into infrastructure, education and healthcare, we will see the productivity of workers in India increase significantly.

Second, this is the time India should reap the benefits of its demographic dividend. Most of the countries, including China, have already done that and so India has more potential. This, of course, presupposes that jobs will be created in India.

The worst-case scenario would be lots of skilled unemployed labour, which might challenge growth. But I am optimistic about the Indian growth rate for the years to come, provided you neutralise the political tensions.

You seem to be very optimistic about India's growth? Has the growth story been disappointing in some way?

Well, the problem is that the growth has not translated into reduction of poverty in the scale that we had expected, at least not in the eastern parts of the country. One per cent increase in the rate of growth in China has resulted in around 1 per cent reduction in poverty.

However, in India it is half of this. Therefore, the growth story becomes clogged up. The reasons are that some people are unaffected with the growth taking place; they are not in the labour market, and are discriminated and left out of the system. All of this is holding the productivity of the country and making the growth less benign.

What then would be the way forward for India?

It's interesting that India has achieved such high rates of growth with a majority of the population living in rural areas. I would expect an enormous migration of people to urban areas in the next 20-30 years, so to say. Then you will need space for new cities to come up to accommodate such migration. You will have to think about cities double the size of Delhi or Mumbai.

India and China have often been compared against each other as far as economic development is concerned. Do you endorse that India has paid an economic penalty because of a democratic set-up?

The India-China comparison is a very interesting one. A crude way to put it would be the classic case of the tortoise and the hare, with the tortoise catching up.

You can solve some coordination problems in a rational authoritarian state set-up like in China, but I will still maintain that a democratic set-up is more suited for a consistent growth rate in the long run. It is very difficult to argue that India has paid an economic penalty because of a democratic set-up.

India has achieved pretty respectable rates of growth since 1980 and good growth rates since 2000. And to my mind, along with this, a lot of things have been done around the 'dignity' agenda. A lot of empowerment has taken place, both at the Centre and at the state level, and going ahead, India will reap the benefits of these.

You have studied the social sector in India. According to you, is it a right time for India to move away from the public distribution system for more qualitative social sector schemes?

The key issue in a public distribution system is that of leakages. The results are region-specific, and some systems that work for Kerala may not work for Bihar. Currently, the focus should be on making these schemes efficient and identifying the right beneficiaries. In more time, you might hope to move away from public distribution systems.

Devika Banerji in Mumbai

India - The Trillion-Dollar Opportunity

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Why does India sell one million motorcycles in a month? Why does the demand for cars in the country grow by 30 per cent and the same for Maggie noodles rise by 25 per cent annually?

And, why has India become the fastest-growing cellphone market in the world? This is because India is moving from being a trillion-dollar economy to a two trillion-dollar one in the next six years.

In 1950-51, India's GDP stood at Rs 10,000 crore (Rs 100 billion), which translated into a per capita income of Rs 285 when distributed among a population of 350 million.

For 2008-09, the country's GDP stood at Rs 54 lakh crore (Rs 54 trillion), translating into a per capita income of Rs 48,450, thus resulting in a compounded annual per capita income growth rate of 9.25 per cent during 1951-2009.

India achieved its first trillion-dollar GDP in 2007. It took India 60 long years after Independence to move up to a Rs 42-lakh crore (Rs 42 trillion) GDP. As per current estimates, we should touch a nominal GDP of Rs 100 lakh crore (Rs 100 trillion)by 2015, and if the rupee-dollar exchange rate remains stable, the next trillion-dollar economy will be born in seven-eight years.

The journey doesn't stop here, rather it picks up further momentum. The next doubler comes in after another seven-eight years, thus elevating India's GDP to $4 trillion (roughly Rs 193 lakh crore or Rs 1.93 trillion) before 2025. The significance of this transition lies in understanding how this linear event will impact businesses.

The structural change that will be witnessed during this journey is that the basic needs of human life will be taken care of by the initial $600-700 of income. At present, with a savings rate of over 35 per cent, the discretionary spending in the economy is $100 per person.

However, as India's per capita income rises to $2,000 and the country moves from the category of 'low-income' to 'middle-income' nations, the discretionary expenditure in the economy would experience an exponential growth.

For instance, if we analyse the consumption pattern of 70 different economies and segment them into low-income, middle-income and high-income brackets, we will observe that consumer spendings on food, beverages and clothing & footwear account for 47 per cent, 34 per cent and 22 per cent of their total consumer expenditures, respectively.

On the contrary, consumer expenditures of the three categories of countries on discretionary items, including cultural and recreational activities, account for 13 per cent, 19 per cent and 28 per cent of their total consumer spends, respectively. This implies that discretionary spending by the Indian consumer will grow manifold in the next five years.

Indian consumption of durable as well as non-durable items has been just a fraction of the consumption average of emerging markets.

This is purely an affordability issue. As and when affordability catches up with the prices of consumer goods, the pent-up demand gets released. And, such demand keeps growing for many years.

This change can be engineered even by reducing product prices. However, in the absence of product price deflation, affordability will take its own time to increase.

The emergence of the next trillion-dollar economy will dramatically change people's income level, resulting in steep acceleration in demand for many goods and services. We have seen telecom penetration rising from 4 per cent in 2001 to 40 per cent in 2009. This quantum jump could come about due to increased affordability in wireless telephony.

The corporate sector -- automobiles, processed food, fashion clothes, advanced communication, healthcare, transport, entertainment and financial services among others -- is not there to provide the basic needs of the economy. It is there to provide value-added goods and services to the people at large.

In fact, financial services will be one of the biggest success stories out of India. The savings rate has climbed to 37 per cent of GDP in 2007-08. In India, credit is not directed towards boosting consumption, but is channelised towards funding government deficits.

This has kept the private sector credit-to-GDP ratio in the economy at a lower level of 52 per cent compared to 100 per cent for China, 300 per cent for the US, 200 per cent for the UK, 145 per cent for Europe, 166 per cent for Japan [ Images ] and 140 per cent for Australia [ Images ] (2008 figures).

We are likely to witness many changes in government policies over the foreseeable future. These changes may include encouraging consumption in order to hold the savings rate at not higher than 40 per cent. Even at this rate, India is going to emerge as one of the largest saving nations among the developing countries with a saving of about $1 trillion per annum before 2020. So, the opportunity for savings deployment is going to be gigantic.

At present, physical infrastructure (roads, ports, housing, etc.) deficit is immense. As affordability increases, spends on personal and public infrastructure will boom. Demand for cement, steel, automobiles etcetera will grow at a pace not seen in the last 20-30 years.

The government's own projection pertaining to infrastructure spending in the 11th Plan period is staggering. The intention is clearly to accelerate infrastructure spend matching with the GDP growth aspiration.

There is a lot of gap between the current infrastructure spend and the desired level of expenditure in order to meet the aspirational level of GDP growth. The catch-up game in the next five-six years will mean a 15-20 per cent growth in every aspect of construction activity.

Analysts and economists have been drawing their own conclusions on how consumers and the economy responded when the economy was at half-to-a third of its current GDP size. But how they will respond in the next five-ten years requires a very different kind of thinking by everyone.

Politicians should tailor policies keeping this development in mind. And, for investors, it is probably one of the biggest macro-opportunity. A perfect setup for long-term investing.

The author is the co-founder and director of Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd. The views expressed are his own.

Raamdeo Agrawal


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Health Care - Who's Responsibility, Corporate or Government?

Given a choice not many people who fend for themselves and have a meagre income, especially when they are no longer efficient and competent as is the case of the old and sick, would like to pay their premium for health care insurance.

Since 2001, premiums for family coverage have increased 78%, while wages have risen 19% and inflation has risen 17%, according to a 2007 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

In desperation a good lot of people in the US purchase wide range of health insurance products, that literally leaves them with little money to spend on food, transport, housing and good education for self and children.

In fact Medical debt is the principal cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States.
This is bad since it affects the economy badly.

Around 84.7% of citizens have some form of health insurance; either through their employer or the employer of their spouse or parent (59.3%), purchased individually (8.9%), or provided by government programs (27.8%; there is some overlap in these figures).

No wonder
health care is very thorny, an exceedingly expensive priority for companies both small and large that has ostensibly very few visible, tangible benefits.

Insurance for dental and vision care (except for visits to ophthalmologists, which are covered by regular health insurance) is usually sold separately.

In the United States, hospital and doctor expenses are covered by payments received from patients and insurance plans.

Visits to facilities outside the insurance program's "network" are usually either not covered or the patient must bear more of the cost (usually waived for emergencies).

According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the United States is the "only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not ensure that all citizens have coverage" (i.e. some kind of insurance).

What is perhaps shocking that in a 2009 Harvard study published in the American Journal of Public Health it has been revealed that there has been on an average 44,800 excess deaths annually in the United States due to Americans lacking health insurance.

Its estimated that in USA as much as 15.3% of the Gross Domestic Product or GDP is spent on health care alone. This is next to East
Timor (Timor-Leste). It is expected that the upward trend would continue to surge in the USA which is likely to touch 19.5% of GDP by 2017.

As per a report prepared by WHO (World Health Organization) in 2000, of all countries totalling 191 member nations of the United Nations Organisation, USA tops the list for having the costliest health care system in the world.

Although the United States is a leader in medical innovation, having spent three times than Europe on a per
capita basis on biomedical research most of which funded by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2004, its performance in health care system is shockingly dismal.

The overall performance of health care in USA
vis a vis other countries stands at 37th and 72 by overall level of health respectively.

Its obvious those who have proper employment in good corporate
organisations and have sufficient disposal income are in a better position to take care of them.

In fact salary and health insurance are most important if corporates wishes to attract the best talent and qualifications in the industry and retain them for long.

Yet the corporate world has scrupulously avoided being dragged into the debate on providing health care to the citizens most of whom are their employees.

But corporates the world over especially large multinationals a majority of which have their head quarters in the
USA must reach out to share the health care burden as part of a social responsibility.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Windows 7 Discount for Students at $29.99

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Are you a student and interested to buy the Windows 7 for a discount?

Well here is a wonderful opportunity which Microsoft is offering for a very limited period.

Don't you dilly dally, for Windows 7 will be available for $29.99 till 3rd of January , 2010 only.

As announced on September 17 all details are available in www.win741.com, concerning this lucrative offer as part of Microsoft's recent promotion spree to popularise Windows 7.

Here is what they have announced in their own words:

"For a limited time, eligible college students can get the sweetest deal on Windows 7 - for only $29.99 USD. That’s less than most of your textbooks! Hurry — offer ends January 3, 2010 at 12:00 am CST"

Students can pay for a copy of either Windows 7 Professional or windows 7 Home Premium.

Windows 7 Professional would be useful to those students who would wish to remain connected to their school network such that they may be able to take advantage of Remote Media Streaming and HomeGroup.

For those having Windows Vista its advisable to upgrade to the same version in Windows 7 as well.

Assuming the student already has a 32-bit Windows Vista Home Premium software, they would do well to upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium, as this will be convenient and easy for them to install.

However for other upgrades, its quite demanding and cumbersome, as this would require a custom (clean) installation in several steps. consuming several hours at one go.

In case the installation appears difficult it would be better to seek professional help from PC retailer.

So students! don't miss the opportunity to upgrade to Windows 7 at a discounted price now.